Opponents Gaining Ground on Bolton: Republican Senators Scrounging Quietly for More Reasons to Oppose


Let’s work that Senate vote count again. . .
41 Senators (less Frist) voted against cloture on Bolton.
Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu bring those opposed to Bolton to 43.
Inouye — who was absent — makes it 44.
George Voinovich and John Thune bring the Nays to 46.
Ben Nelson is up in the air. And three more votes are needed.
John McCain will have to vote with those opposed to cloture given the position he has staked out on the documents requests.
Arlen Specter is “uncomfortable” with Bolton and avoided the last vote. He’s not in any way confirmed in favor of Bolton.
And the NSA intercept information or Syria material may be triggers that make Hagel reconsider. It’s the only leadership tack he can make at this time.
My sense is that there are MORE than three Republican Senate offices now scrambling for reasons — for phone calls — to oppose Bolton.
TWN had a phone call from a Republican Senate office today asking for more on the “intelligence issues.” And no one thinks that this Senator is in play.
I won’t disclose who it is — but I will say that the tectonics of this debate are shifting further than they recognize against the White House.
And whether she will vote against Bolton or not, can you imagine Senator Collins voting FOR cloture in a documents battle after her own quest noted below?
From the 2 June 2005 CQ Today:

A Senate committee on Thursday appeared likely to subpoena Pentagon materials explaining the basis for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s proposals to close or reorganize numerous military bases.
The chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., respectively, had threatened Rumsfeld in a May 27 letter with a subpoena if that proved necessary to get all the data undergirding the Pentagon’s base-closing decisions. The letter came after the Defense Department missed a statutory deadline for providing the information to Congress, the Government Accountability Office and the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) commission.
On May 31, the Pentagon made available to members and staff classified records explaining its BRAC decisions. But Collins and Lieberman issued a statement on Wednesday saying the classified data was “insufficient.”
“The documents made available last night, unfortunately, do not appear to come close to addressing the requests that we made last week,” the senators said in a statement Thursday.
The BRAC law required the Pentagon to turn over within seven days of its May 13 announcement of the BRAC decisions “all information used by the secretary in making the recommendations.” Collins and Lieberman had used that expansive language to request documents such as e-mails, memos and handwritten notes.
The Pentagon is putting together by June 4 a declassified version of the database it made available on May 31. Collins and Lieberman said they would wait until the declassified data is released to decide whether to subpoena all the records they are seeking.
But their Wednesday statement indicates that, even if all the data that is now classified were released, it does not contain the types of information the senators requested. That suggests a subpoena will come unless the Pentagon provides more information responsive to the senators’ request.

More later.
— Steve Clemons